Smt. Vidhushi Naina Shastri
"Action is Dynamic in Form and Creative in Nature"
"I think it is a wonderful quotation and expresses my thoughts and feelings for Dance perfectly! So it is that I have decided to make it the motto of Ushanjali School of Dance" - Guru Smt Vidhushi Naina Shastri
Naina Shastri, a native of the picturesque town of Mysore in Southern India, is a Bharatanatyam Dancer, Performer, Choreographer, Educator and Researcher. She had her initial training in this dance form, under the guidance of Guru Vidwan Shri.K. Ramamurthy Rao. She completed her “Rangapravesha” (full length solo performance) and “Vidwat” (Masters level) exams under his tutelage. She has participated and performed in various dance festivals and dance competitions in and around Mysore and Bangalore and has been active in the US too, performing for various events and organizations. Naina, is a registered teacher with the Akhila Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai, India and is certified to conducted formal dance exams in the Bay Area.
She continues her dance training with eminent artists in the field like Smt.Radhika
Nandakumar interpreting the Natyashastra; Dr.Vasundhara Doraswamy of Mysore
and Shri A.Lakshmanswamy of Chennai for training in Yoga, Adavu and Nritta
aspects; Vidhushi Dr.Aparna Sindhoor and Shri Anil Natyaveda for understanding
the Mysore Style of Bharatanatyam and training in India’s traditional Martial Art form, Kalaripayattu and Shri. Prasanna for Nattuvangam.
Smt.Naina Shastri has served on the 2014 WKC-AKKA(American Kannada
Kootas Association) Convention’s Entertainment Committee as the Lead for the
AKKA Dance Idol. She also choreographed and presented at the convention,
“Kindari Jogi” Kuvempu’s(one of India’s national poets) translated work on “The
Pied Piper of Hamlin”.
She is the Artistic Director of Ushanjali School of Dance with locations in 3 cities
of Bay Area training over 100 students, who have also performed at various dance
festivals and City organized cultural events throughout the Bay Area. The first Rangapravesha from Ushanjali School of Dance was presented in the Summer of 2015. Smt. Naina and a few of her students were featured in NBC BayArea’s program Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa.
Smt. Naina Shastri has served three sessions as a RAW resident artist at SAFEhouse for the Arts in San Francisco. She has been Artist-in-Residence at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland, CA. Naina Shastri, was selected to present her original work “Morning Raga” in the
APAture Festival, 2016 organized by Kearny Street Workshop. She has been regularly presenting a collaborative work with Visual Artist, Salma Arastu exploring poetry by Persian Mystic Mevlana Rumi and Indian Bhakti Saint Meera Bai through Indian Classical Dance, recitation, music and multimedia.
Smt. Naina Shastri, is the founder of the Non-profit organization, Namaha
Foundation for the Arts, which conducts the annual Dance and Music Festival,
Karnataka Composers Day and organizes the Monthly Solo Indian Dance Festival,
Naipunya Dance Festival every 2nd Saturday of the Month.
Academically, Naina Shastri has a Masters degree in Biotechnology from the
University of Mysore. She worked in the company, Discoverx and later at the
Research Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab; Emeryville for few years
before taking up Dance full time.
She currently resides in San Ramon, California with her husband and two children.
Some of her performances:
San Francisco International Movement Arts Festival 2018, 2019
San Francisco International Arts Festival, SFIAF 2018
West Wave Dance Festival, SAFEhouse Arts, SF
Articulate Festival, Mysore
APAture 2016, Kearny Street Workshop
Mysore Dasara Festival, Mysore
Every Friday Youth Performance, Yavanika, Bengaluru
Events organized by the Kannada and Culture Dept.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mysore
Sai Nrityothsava, Bengaluru
Mahashivarathri Natyothsava, Sanatana Dharma Kendra, Santa Clara.
Shiva Vishnu Temple, Livermore, CA.
Sri Datta Sai Temple, San Ramon, CA.
Brahmakumaris, San Francisco, CA.
Amerikannadotsava, by NAVIKA; Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bengaluru.
AKKA world Kannada Koota Convention, San Francisco, 2014.
Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance, Emeryville, CA.
And many more.